The Occupy Movement walked back into my life this week. Literally. William Terzin, who more often goes by Billie, one of the nationally renown Occupy Walkers, was making the western leg of his second cross-country trek and wound up in my neighborhood. When I learned of an Occupier crossing the country for a cause I simply offered to let him stay with not having any idea who I was inviting through my door. But Billy Terzin was a voice from the past. Last spring William and the “Walker Family” attracted media attention across the West for their dramatic social media documented tour which included Vegas, Needles, Bullhead City, & even Topock and then after a stay in Kingman to reconnoiter (which included a night at my themepark), they were off onto Flagstaff & ever on. They covered a lot of ground.
Last year’s travels started at Occupy San Diego where the Occupy Walkers formed, who then walked up to join with Occupy L.A. and immersed themselves in the protest till the L.A. encampment was torn down during the national crackdown on Occupy encampments in the winter of 2011. Some continued onto Chicago to join in the NATO protests. Some were in Philadelphia at the National Occupy Gathering Fourth of July in Philadelphia, just up the street from where I was part of the Arizona delegation at the 99% Convention. Both I & my fellow Western AZ delegate Barbara Wall had hosted the Walkers. Finding them there among the thousands was like a homecoming 2400 miles from home. All the while they traveled, the Walkers networked with activist groups in cities and towns across the country. They blogged, posted & tweeted their little hearts out and regularly stopped traffic as curious people gawked at their procession. They talked to thousands and were interviewed in dozens of communities. Their stories were shared on Facebook, Truthout & with video, as well as their ongoing blog.
This year the plan was different. The “Ides of March” is Billie’s inspiration: envisioned as a cross-country call to action, Terzin started in Oceanside, CA and he aims to end up on Congress’s front door a full year later in March 15, 2014. It had been more than a year since I had last seen William; but once again, he was a source of immense wisdom & inspiration. Wall Street Swindles, Mortgage Fraud, Corporate Lobbying, Private Prisons and the strengths and weaknesses of lateral or de-centralized disorganization (the Occupy-style group consensus approach), Billy has been there and knows about it.
This year passing through from Vegas toward Flag’ once more, Billie stopped in Kingman and got to visit both with me in So-Hi and Kingman and with my office assistant, Ms Julie Thompson for two days so he could talk to community groups up in Dolan Springs. This Saturday, April 20th, Terzin, Occupiers around the region and the remnants of Kingman Occupy aim to gather once more in Locomotive Park at the intersection of Beale & Andy Devine to return to Kingman’s Occupy spirit and take the March for Progress back to the streets. For the better part of a year, local Kingman activists gathered in the park beside its namesake locomotive, stood smilingly on the street corner and waved signs and high-fives to the passersby and endless stream of cruising vehicles on Saturday afternoons here in Kingman.
And I had been part of that. From high school students getting their first taste of activism, to seniors nearing retirement, teachers, tourists, toddlers, mostly Democrats but not only, sometimes as many as 30, mostly 6-12 of us showed up every week because we were dedicated to the idea that the crisis in America was too large not take action, to not start working to wake the world up. One afternoon in mid-January, when our jolly little Occupy effort had outlasted many protests in bigger cities, we decided that after the rally we would gather at a nearby restaurant for late lunch. We were alive with ideas. The talk turned to the newly completed redistricting process and the potential candidates for the various races. Somebody said there was no Democrat running in our new Congressional District, CD-4. Somebody else jokingly said, “Mikel should run—“
--& here we are today. So it is good to be re-occupied with working to address the goals of the Occupy Movement.
1. Get money out of politics.
2. Re-instate Glass-Steagall
3. Stop the offshoring of American jobs.
4. Stop cutting government.
5. Take care of our veterans and our homeless.
6. Healthcare for all.
7. Save grads from crushing student loan debt.
8. End bank fees.
9. End the wars and pass a tax to pay for them.
10. Stop the Homeland Security driven crackdowns on people exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble and speak freely.
11. Return ethics and honesty to journalism by reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
12. Close tax loopholes so that every entity, human or corporate, pays their fair share.
13. End “police brutality” by fairly investigating reports of such.
14. End the Patriot Act.
15. End the Federal Reserve Bank’s existence as a non-profit corporation and move its functions into the Department of the Treasury,
16. Abolish any “anti-homeless” law that makes sitting on a sidewalk an arrestable offense.
17. Do NOT interrupt anybody’s Facebook, YouTube, ulead or other social networking for any reason. Stop SOPA & PIPA & ACTA!
18. Amend NDAA and stop indefinite detention without trial
While there is far from an overall alignment of goals, you can clearly see where some of these ideas inspired the platform I would eventually run on and which still inspire me today. If these ideas still inspire you I hope you will join us at Locomotive Park, in Kingman, AZ, noon till 1pm for a Kingman Occupy Protest.
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Contact me to set up an event in your area. We belong anywhere YOU think a Democrat should be:
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413
this message paid for by Mikel Weisser for US Congress
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